Mingun Pahtotawgyi Pagoda

  • Location: Mingun, Mandalay
  • Recommended reason: Although not completed and damaged in the earthquake, this brick building is still the largest ancient tower in the world.
  • Opening hours: 7:00-19:30
  • Entrance fee: included in ticket for Mingun and Sagaing which costs $3 and is valid for 5 days

Mingon Pagoda in Mandalay

Mingon Pagoda, located 11 kilometers north of Mandalay City, has the largest pagoda ruins in Myanmar that have not yet been completed. It is an unfinished palace built by King  Bodawpaya of Myanmar for his queen and one of the largest brick buildings in the world. Due to the vastness of the project, after 11 years of the king's death, the entire building was only completed 1/3. In 1838, the giant pagoda was damaged in an earthquake. There is a crack of the pagoda. Despite being an unfinished building, it is still the largest ancient pagoda in Myanmar. It has been said that the cultural heritage value of the Mingun pagoda is world-class and even no less than the Egyptian pyramid.

The shape of the tower is rectangular. Except for the white door, the entire building is heavily yellow. According to plan, the pagoda will reach 160 meters high, which will be 48 meters higher than the Yangon Shwedagon Pagoda. Ascend to the pagoda, you can watch the entire Irrawaddy River with a wide view. It is also a good place to watch the sunrise and sunset.

 

Mingun Pahtotawgyi history

Mingun Pagoda is located in Mingon, Sagaing Province, Myanmar. It was built on the west side of Mandalay. Construction of the pagoda began in 1782. At that time, the king wanted his queen to climb the top of the pagoda and worship the distant Bagan stupa. Therefore, the king also personally supervised the construction. It is a pity that the king died when the pagoda was not completed in 1819. Thus, it becomes the world's largest ruins of pagoda. The Mingon Pagoda is one of the largest brick buildings in the world. It is said that when the king died, the pagoda was completed by a third. After the death of the king, no one has ever taken up the follow-up project to build the Mingon Pagoda. Although the two stone lions were completed at the entrance to the site, they were damaged by the 1838 earthquake. After this earthquake, there is only a huge pagoda leaving.

 

How to visit Mingun Pahtotawgyi?

Mingun Pahtotawgyi Pagoda

【Mingun Bell】

Not far from the north of the pagoda, there is the Mingun Bell, which today is the second largest ringing copper bell in the world. It is 8 meters high, 5 meters in diameter and weighs 90.55 tons. This huge bronze bell was also designed by King Bodawpaya. It was built in 1808 and was originally planned to be placed on the Mingon Pagoda. It was damaged in the 1839 earthquake. The big bell was on the ground for more than 50 years. It was not re-hanged up until 1896. The bell is a certain distance away from the ground but not high. The inner wall of the bell is covered with graffiti. In front of Mingun Bell, there is also an inscription that records its history.

【Hsinbyume Pagoda】

In north of Mingun Bell, you can see a white pagoda like a cream cake - Hsinbyume Pagoda. Hsinbyume Pagoda, which is said to be the center of the world of Burmese astrology, is to commemorate a queen. This pagoda is built in imitation of shape of Mount Sumeru. The seven-story tower around the pagoda, surrounding a five-story tower symbolizing the mountains and the ocean, looks like a wave. Although the building is small, it is extremely elegant. It was also destroyed in the great earthquake and later was rebuilt.

 

How to get to Mingun Pahtotawgyi?

If you want to go to the ancient city of Mingun, you can take a boat at pier at the end of 26th Street in Mandalay. The ship will start at 9:00 every day and return at 13:00. It takes about one and a half hours for one-way trip. Fee of round-trip is about 3000 kyats.

 

Tips for visiting Mingun Pahtotawgyi:

If you want to climb the pagoda, you need to be barefoot. The steps are very high and steep. There are no protective measures, you should be careful if you climb up the pagoda.

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